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This $31,000 Porsche Panamera Scam Was Drowned And Rolled Back

published 2021-10-18
by Alex Booster
682 views
Alex Booster
Alex joined badvin.org since very early days of our business. He is an experienced journalist and private investigator who works with cars for past 10 years. His passion is to analyze automotive market and to search for suspicious deals.

Two decades ago the fastest sedans on the market were cars like the Audi A6, BMW M5, and the Mercedes Benz AMG E55. These sedans were wonderfully innovative but they were compromises. Maintaining the luxury that these brands demanded required heavy materials and at the time, the most virile of motors barely crested the 400 horsepower peak. 


In the years since then, Porsche has redefined what’s possible when you build a luxury sports sedan that doesn’t sacrifice premium materials or outright performance. That perfect recipe makes the Panamera one of the most highly regarded four-door cars on the market today. Not shockingly then the subject of our focus today was quickly snatched up when the buyer thought they were getting a screaming deal ($31,000) on one such example with less than 25,000 miles on the clock. 

While automotive manufacturers have been making improvements in technology, scammers have been honing their craft as well. What the buyer of this Porsche didn’t realize was that just a month before his purchase, the car had been drowned with more than 88,000 actual miles on it. 

Junk Titles And What They Tell You

We find the super sedan after an unknown incident deemed it a “Flood Damaged” car with a junk title. Seeing as it was in Punta Gorda, a city in Florida where more than half the land is under a flood plain, the type of damage isn’t totally shocking. Nevertheless, according to BADVIN records, the Porsche won’t drive or even turn over due to the damage incurred by the water. 


The photos tell us quite a bit as well. We can observe that the water was high enough to leave dirt all around the engine bay itself. The intake tract has come away from the throttle body and there seem to be salt deposits on the upper plastic cowling under the hood. Just one of these could be a bad sign but all three together explain why such a high-value item would sell for less than $24,000.

Ultimately though the damage is extensive enough both in terms of functional operation and internal materials damage that the car isn’t branded as a salvage vehicle, it’s given a “Certificate of destruction”. The difference is dramatic because salvage vehicles can be repaired and put back on the road without much more difficulty than the repairs themselves. When it comes to a certificate of destruction the process is completely different. 

There are no legal ways to put a vehicle with a certificate of destruction back on the roads in America. Once a certificate of destruction has been issued to the vehicle the title has been ripped up in practical terms. No matter which state you take it to they won’t issue you even a salvage title since there’s no title, to begin with so even title washing isn’t an option. If one were to try to file for a lost title the state would recognize that the vehicle has such a certificate and deny the request. 

This complicates the situation if the vehicle seems to actually be salvageable. Typically, the party who purchases it from the insurance company does so with the intention of parting out the vehicle in question. In this scenario that’s not at all what takes place with this car. 

How Scammers Routinely Get The Most Money For A Garbage Car


Notice in the second sales record that BADVIN has on the Panamera that while “Not Actual”, the mileage has for some reason shows just 24,636 on the odometer. This is a clever trick used by scammers to get the highest price for the car. 

First, the car is transported to California where it’s far from the original scene of the incident. Once a vehicle has been branded with a salvage title or a certificate of destruction the mileage recorded will always be considered “Not Actual”, “Exceeds Mechanical Limits” or “Exempt” which actually works out great for the scammers. This provides the perfect opportunity to roll back the odometer and have a quick and easy explanation if they’re ever questioned about it. 

To further the scam they clean up the Panamera and get it running again. In the photo above you’ll notice the car is idling just a bit below 1,000 RPM and in the photo below you’ll notice that the engine has had the intake refitted and the weather stripping replaced to emulate the condition you’d expect from a car with just under 25,000 miles on it. 


While we can’t be sure what sort of work went into getting the car to start it could’ve been as simple as clearing codes, reconnecting sensors, and firing the car up. Then the scammer starts advertising the car in the only place they can legally get it back on the road, outside of the United States. 

The Panamera Goes Home And The Seller Makes A Bundle


Just because the car can’t be driven in America doesn’t mean that it can’t be driven and it’s this fact that allows the seller to make a deal for over $31,000. That transaction is only a portion of what the buyer pays to ultimately return the Panamera to the east coast, New Jersey to be specific before it’s shipped across the ocean and back to Germany. 


BADVIN records each of these movements before the car is completely removed from the American automotive pool. Ultimately a trip across the Atlantic costs many thousands of dollars and that’s to say nothing of the cost incurred by shipping it from California to New Jersey. Clearly, the buyer thought they were getting a screaming deal on a car that even today is valued well above $31,000. 

Once again we see the value of the incredible photographic evidence that only BADVIN provides. It’s easy to pass convince ourselves that we’re getting a great deal when the car runs, drives, and doesn’t show any external evidence of damage. What BADVIN does is take those rose-colored glasses off and ensures our customers that every penny they’ve earned goes to a car that’s actually a good deal. Not one that’s been rolled back and isn’t suitable for the road. 

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